Every golfer wants to hit it longer with the driver. An extra 10, 20 or 30 yards can put a shorter iron in your hands for the approach, giving you a better chance to stick it close to the pin. Getting those extra yards can prove to be elusive, however. One approach that has served many golfers involves the use of exercises to strengthen key muscles and increase flexibility.
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Long drives come as the result of two things: mechanical efficiency and a strong physical foundation within the body. PGA Tour.com points out there are several muscle groups responsible for generating club head speed to create power. The core makes up the muscle group responsible for creating power through rotation. Core muscles include those from just above the knees to slightly below the chest. In addition, the musculature of the lower body provides the lift in a golf shot -- which requires hitting up through the ball when using a driver.
As described on isuckatgolf.net, one fundamental exercise used to help develop strength and flexibility for the driver is called the body twist. Quite simply, it involves rotating the upper body in both directions with special attention to turning the right shoulder -- for right-handed golfers -- as far to left as possible without sustaining injury. This serves to both strengthen the core muscles and increase the flexibility necessary for a wider arc in the swing -- another component of generating power.
Medicine Ball Front Twist Throw
Golf fitness trainer Sean Cochran recommends an exercise which builds upon the basic twist motion. Taking a three- to eight-pound medicine ball, position yourself two to three feet from a concrete wall. Set your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, holding the ball with both hands. Rotate your body to the left with the ball positioned at your left hip. Explosively thrust the ball at the wall by rotating the torso. Aim the ball to allow yourself to catch it off the wall. Repeat this action alternating between both sides.
Frequency and Golf Practice
As with any form of exercise, consult a physician or exercise physiologist before attempting these methods. The body twist can easily function as a part of a daily regimen. The medicine ball routine, however, should be limited to three or four times a week. Additionally, continue to practice hitting your driver on the range in order for the change in strength and flexibility to gradually work its way into your mechanics.